sustainable architecture

Sustainable architecture and building design – top strategies and techniques

The sustainable, environmentally friendly building design is here to stay. There are more and more sustainable office buildings and eco-friendly residencies each year, and the market is growing so much that you don’t want to be left out.

The best part about the sustainability trend is that you can use it to increase your revenue as an architect dramatically. Slowly niching into sustainable building design will give you access to more conscious, responsible, and higher-paying target markets.

This post will give you ideas on harnessing sustainable building design trends so you can use them to grow your business.

Top sustainable architecture strategies

You can explore several significant directions to increase your projects’ sustainability score. 

Whichever feels closer to you as a professional can, with proper profit planning, become something that takes your revenue as an architect to the next level.

Passive & active sustainable design

The passive sustainable design revolves around factors you can’t change or influence – the site’s location, climate, relief, elevation, etc. How you embed the project into the given conditions will affect its sustainability.

Passive sustainable design works with daylight distribution, natural ventilation from winds and air currents, rainwater, and solar energy.

Active sustainable design takes place when you are actively working with electricians, HVAC, plumbing, and other professionals to create technological systems that reuse resources and minimize the environmental footprint of the building.

This is not as complicated as it sounds since architecture project management tools like PlanMan contain co-consultant modules that allow easy onboarding of other professionals into your project. 

Other collaboration software tools for architects can help with your goals too.

Renewable energy systems

This concerns solar and wind energy sources embedded into the projects. 

Most of that is intertwined with passive sustainable design and requires professional help and consulting from aside. Having solar or wind power participate in the building’s function is an amazing selling point though.

Eco-friendly materials and finishes

Materials are not created equal, and there are usually several options. You can position yourself as an architect working exclusively with sustainable materials, allowing you to charge more and niche down on eco-friendly markets.

Offering sustainable materials will involve looking for the right contractors, but with time you will become an authority in the space and be able to offer consulting. Spending extra time on finding the right contractors and suppliers will be very worth it in the end.

Waste reduction

Waste reduction is an effective strategy for sustainable architectural processes – and you can adopt the strategy at every stage of your project.

Using pre-cut and pre-assembled materials and fragments, recycling waste, and sticking with materials that don’t need to be finished on-site will help you make your project more eco-friendly.

Naturally, you will need to find the right contractors and suppliers to achieve your goals; using PlanMan’s project management features will make vetting them easy and smooth.

Native landscaping

Exquisite landscaping goes hand in hand with excessive water and electricity consumption. All the pools, streams, pumps, unsustainable lawns, and fountains are slowly becoming a thing of the past. 

On the other hand, plants, shrubs, and grasses that are native to the location and become naturally embedded into the property relief and ecosystem are becoming more and more popular

Native landscaping can be a great way to increase the sustainability score of the whole project.

Stormwater management

Building negatively impacts the environment by preventing stormwater from re-absorbing into the ground. As a result, the microclimate changes around the building – which causes extra pressure on local plants and species.

Additionally, re-directed water streams can become a severe threat to structures – and stormwater management becomes essential. You can also turn stormwater management into one of your major selling points.

Green roofs could be one of the most well-known ways to manage and leverage stormwater, and they transform the look of the building immediately.

Permeable pavement, retention ponds, bioretention areas, and constructed wetlands are other tricks that help minimize the building’s effect on stormwater distribution.

Indoor air quality 

This essential factor is scored within the most meaningful sustainability assessment systems. Many architects overlook air quality design, thinking only HVAC professionals’ work affects it, so that’s your chance to stand out.

Indoor air quality closely depends on the materials used for furniture, floors, paints, and finishes. High volatile organic compounds or toxic materials are a big NO. 

All potential sources of air pollution need to be identified and contained at the earliest phases of project development just the same way.


Sustainable architecture offers a variety of ways to charge your clients more while providing suggestions that improve the quality of your projects. It’s a very ethical way to grow as an architect – especially considering the trend is not going anywhere soon.

PlanMan offers all the modern and scalable tools that any architect needs to go greener with their projects.